Valentines and Virality – Stop the Presses Hangout

Stop the Presses! is a monthly live webcast produced by the Center for Story-based Strategy, co-sponsored by the United Workers Congress, and hosted by Joseph Phelan. The program pulls together organizers, leaders, and communications experts to look at communications lessons from ongoing campaigns, and explore communications innovations that are advancing social justice movements across the United States.


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A Life of Lessons in David Gilbert’s “Love and Struggle.”

Love and Struggle - David GilbertFor organizers and students of history too young to have touched the 1960s, that decade holds a mystique that David Gilbert’s Love and Struggle does wonders to make real.

Bernardine Dohrn, former Weather Underground member and now juvenile justice advocate, says that the sixties are a club used against today’s activists. She suggests that the way the history of the time gets told makes it a story inaccessible and artificially unique. She helpfully notes that the way we tell the myth of the sixties makes its advances and its fervor seem impossible today. Love and Struggle dispels those myths and provides readers with an inside view of one of the more controversial and misunderstood components of those times: white anti-imperialist armed struggle and the third world movements with which they allied themselves.

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Seattle to Phoenix: A Ten Year Movement Update

I’m humbled to have this essay, written two years ago in the Fall of 2010, included in the astonishing anthology We Have Not Been Moved and grateful to Matt Meyer for being its editor and main encouragement. You can order the book at PM Press.

In 1999, following the massive demonstrations in Seattle against the World Trade Oraganization, Betita Martinez shook things up with the simple question: “Why were most of the demonstrators white?”

After the state of Washington ran out of tear gas, after the echoes of bucket drums faded, after the teamsters and the “turtles” (environmentalists) parted ways, and global capital appeared momentarily derailed by a city full of barricades, her short article circulated listservs and email inboxes with penetrating questions for the debut showing of the newly born “anti-globalization movement.” Martinez highlighted the ways in which people of color did participate but asked us to reconcile the apparent divide. If “we are to make Seattle’s promise of a new, international movement against imperialist globalization come true,” she wrote, we must understand and learn from the low-level of participation from people of color. Continue reading

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An End to Self-Care

End to Self-CareI’m going to say it. I want to see an end to “self-care.” Can we put a nail in self-care’s coffin and instead birth a newer discussion of community care?

As I most often hear it, self-care stands as an importation of middle-class values of leisure that’s blind to the dynamics of working class (or even family) life, inherently rejects collective responsibility for each other’s well-being, misses power dynamics in our lives, and attempts to serve as a replacement for a politics and practice of desire that could actually ignite our hearts with a fuel to work endlessly.Read More Continue reading

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When fear is the target, Courage is the result

Days before a bus filled with undocumented people and their allies was to take off from Phoenix, Arizona, one rider was interviewed by the New York Times. The reporter asked, “Last month when I interviewed you, you wouldn’t tell me your full name. Now you will. What changed?” The rider responded, “I am no longer afraid.”

48 hours later Letty Ramirez, Miguel Guerra, Natally Cruz, and Isela Meraz, stepped off the curb outside of Sheriff Arpaio’s racial profiling trial and into the street with a banner that said, “No Papers No Fear.”  They announced themselves as undocumented and unafraid of the Sheriff finally on trial.  The thing that had kept them at times house-bound, and most afraid was the thought of ending up inside Arpaio’s jail. Now, the four were entering willingly as part of an act of civil disobedience and the start of what would be a six week odyssey, the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice that will soon come to an end at the Democratic National Convention In Charlotte after Labor Day weekend.

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Grief, Compassion, and Vision: Reflections on Brueggeman’s Prophetic Imagination

Prophetic Imagination - BrueggemanWriting in 1979, Walter Brueggeman turned to the old and new testament to reflect on the role of a prophet in a society he observed of waning social movements and a rising cynicism. What he shares in the Prophetic Imagination is dueling imaginations, a god that takes sides, and a legacy of prophets fluent in the languages of grief and hope; criticism and alternatives; compassion and energy.  For those puzzling today at how to spark a new exodus from modern day Pharaoh’s reign, the thirty year old book offers inspiration and insight.

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Barrio Defense: How Arizona’s Immigrants are Standing Up to SB 1070

Arizona state signUpdate, June 25: Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled much of SB 1070 unconstitutional, but upheld the law’s most controversial provision: the so-called “show me your papers” component, which directs police to check the immigration status of those they suspect might be undocumented. Puente and other supporters of Barrio Defense Committees say this ruling reaffirms their approach. “We never had faith in the #SCOTUS case,” the group tweeted. “We have faith in our people … WE WILL NOT COMPLY.” Continue reading

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Path of Intimacy 2: Conflict Resolution in the Context of Your Relations

This gallery contains 26 photos.

As a follow-up to Path of Intimacy 1, I published a second issue focused on how to deal with conflicts within relationships. “If intimacy is fueled by a drive to reveal ourselves to our partner, than conflicts are opportunities for … Continue reading

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After Discovery of 1,100 Year Old Mayan Site, State of Georgia to Rescind Anti-Immigrant Bill

“This is a little embarrassing to admit,” began Governor Deal at an official press briefing. “it turns out, contrary to popular belief, the state of Georgia was not founded in 1732. It has been around much longer than that.”
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Path of Intimacy 1: Finding & Sharing Yourself in the Context of Your Relations

This gallery contains 22 photos.

This is a ‘zine I published through HooRay Books in 2009. Because of demand, I’m making it available on-line.

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